Distance Learning - What students like about it:

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Numerous choices

Studying with the best school in the world without any physical limitations – that’s distance learning for me!

Jun-suh
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Save Money

What strikes me the most: Distance education programmes are often cheaper than their traditional counter parts

Sabine
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Raise in status

Suddenly, my boss looks at me in a different way. Even my salary increased!

Maria
Interested? Find your Distance Learning Programmes: Start your search

Quality aspects of open and distance and online learning

When you decide to take a distance course or a course on line, a lot of concerns come to your mind about which course and which university to select. As a student, it is not always easy to judge the quality of a course, as an increasing number of providers come on the market: open and distance teaching universities as well as conventional universities, but also private providers from all over the world.Accreditation of the courseA primary criterium to select a course or a university is about the formal accreditation of a course. In most European countries, accreditation systems are in place through which a degree programme or a university and the degrees or certificates awarded are recognised by the public authorities. To get such an accreditation, strict quality assurance procedures have to be run through. In most cases, this accreditation is mainly bearing on the content and level of a course or programme, which have to meet the requirements of the European Qualification Framework.However, this doesn’t make yet a course suitable for supported distance or online learning, as the accreditation is for face to face teaching mainly. Accreditation is a basic, but not a sufficient requirement to make a course appropriate for open and distance or on line learning. Specific criteria for this are already defined, but not yet systematically incorporated in the accreditation procedures. They relate to the course material as well to the services (contact with staff, student support, learning communities, access to libraries,...), delivered to the student.In this section, you will find some of the caveats about the quality of open and distance or online courses in se. These benchmarks have been subject of a systematic investigation by experts in distance and online teaching and learning. Before registering, students should have a look into:Information requirementsWhen contemplating a study by distance or e-learning, you should be adequately informed about the course or program and about therequirements for study by the provider. You should be provided with full information on sequence, timing, and options within the intended program. Details of course delivery should be provided to you in a clear and accessible way. The relationship between different actors (teachers, tutors, etc) involved should be specified and clear.Quality aspects of course materialThe course or program entry requirements should be confirmed as matching with your prior skills and knowledge, or the acquisition of these should be supported by appropriate preparatory course material.A distance or online learning course is more than just a conventional course, transmitted into a digital format. The content is presented in a learner-oriented fashion. A distance or online course should include a clear statement of learning outcomes in respect of both knowledge and skills, which gives direction to the learner. It should provide information about examinations, which needs to be explicit, fair, valid and reliable.Beside the content, which is well explained and structured. Also, an adequate level of interactivity with other students and staff should be provided to enable active student engagementand to allow students on-going feedback on their progress through self-assessment tests. E-learning materials are delivered via a virtual learning environment.AssessmentAssessment methods should be appropriate to the program and topic. Learners are informed about the conditions and outcomes of the assessment before and after completion. Appropriate arrangements are made for security of assessments. Data protection and privacy procedures are in place. Feedback is relevant, contains appropriate depth and is timely. Progress details are available to the individual student involved.

Universities in the spotlight

Simon Fraser University

Burnaby, Canada

In the place where innovative education, cutting-edge research and community outreach intersect, you'll find Simon Fraser University. Our vision? To be Canada's leading engaged university. Born in 1965, SFU has become Canada's leading comprehensive university with vibrant campuses in British Columbia's largest municipalities — Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey — and deep roots in partner communities throughout the province and around the world.

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Joint venture with University of St Andrews and TheFishSite.com

University of St Andrews

Saint Andrews, United Kingdom

The University of St Andrews in association with TheFishSite and Fish Vet Group offer sustainable aquaculture courses to ensure you can achieve your career advancement goals. Accelerate your career development in aquaculture and get practical work experience in the aquaculture industry.

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University of Canberra

Canberra, Australia

The University of Canberra is committed to preparing graduates for successful and rewarding careers in the professions, commerce and public service. We’re here to help you develop the strengths and skills you need to make substantial academic, professional and personal breakthroughs. Our degrees and qualifications are respected and recognised internationally.

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OBS Online Business School

Barcelona, Spain

Online Business School (OBS) nace en 2007 como la primera escuela de negocios 100% online en lengua española. Se funda en el entorno del Grupo Planeta, líder mundial en la publicación de contenidos para el mercado de habla hispana y con un importante know how en e – learning, con la colaboración de dos partners estratégicos: La Universitat de Barcelona, EAE Business School.

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Northeastern University

Boston, United States

Northeastern University offers a wide range of research and professional graduate degrees from the main campus in Boston and two graduate campuses in Charlotte and Seattle.The mission for our graduate education is to create and maintain a vibrant community of scholars where the best-in-class graduate programs are tightly coupled with the best-in-class research, scholarship and creative activities.

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General

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Supervision, assessment, exams and grading

After graduation


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